T Nation

Pull More Off Floor Than in Rack

Friday I did 440x5 pretty easily off the floor then went to do some rack pulls(more for variety than anything) and found I could barely do 455 from below the knees. Once I got it moving I came up fast and actually went up on my toes but when I started it it felt like it was glued to the rack.

I tried 495 but could not budget.

I think it’s unusual to pull more off the floor but one thing I thought of is maybe due to my form- for my height my arms are exceptionally long so I kind of just use a close stance and essentially squat the weight up. In the rack I couldn’t get any leg drive.

So… I guess my question is, does this indicate a weakness in the upper back musclulature or just poor form on rack pulls.

Sorry, no video =[, would be easier to convey that way.

Form and position may have a lot to do with it.

I’m pretty close to the same way though. I’m really strong off the floor and use the speed at the bottom to get through my sticking points. You are decreasing you ROM, but it also sounds like you are starting from a dead stop at a sticking point.

The fact that you pulled off the floor first makes me think you were probably already a little tired too.

Thanks, that makes alot of sense.

What helps a weak lockout then- I’m thinking of maybe adding heavy shrugs, or would reps from the sticking point work better?

You were tired.

Don’t worry about it.

Let me see if I’m reading this right…You did deads, then moved on to pin pulls and are wondering why you had trouble pulling off the pins?

Fatigue perhaps?? You just did two max effort type exercises that are nearly the same.

I would think that your deadlift alone should be a good indicator of what’s weak.

I also didn’t realize that leg drive was a major component in pin pulls. I thought that while you shouldn’t be stiff legging it out of the rack, it was supposed to be a lot more back than legs…

[quote]Joe Grim wrote:
Thanks, that makes alot of sense.

What helps a weak lockout then- I’m thinking of maybe adding heavy shrugs, or would reps from the sticking point work better?[/quote]

http://asp.elitefts.com/qa/default.asp?qid=81616&tid=93

I’d go more with the upper back work for lockouts. Heavy rows and such.

Thanks for the replies, I’ll add more upper back work.

Upper back work is prime. helps a ton. But then again, so is sticking point work and technique tuning. My guess is it was mostly fatigue in your specific situation.

See where you have trouble in your full ROM deadlift. If it’s in the top half then rack pulls from the sticking point will be a great help in learning to power through with no momentum.

My sticking points are generally early on though. I kinda wish I had your problem, b/c it’s easier to fix.

Also, like buckeye girl said, leg drive is key for pin pulls so keep that in mind. I still have problems with that because I’m back dominant.

for most people(and this is why they do the exercise), pulling out the rack or off of blocks can not only emphasize the lock out, but put you in an awkward position which will illustrate weakness in a previously unnoticed area…

for example, some people are horrible off of the blocks because of weak upper back strength,…one way to see this is to video tape a failure and watch all of the body. i started noticing i failed with a bowed back and worked more upper back,…now if i go heavy and fail, i fail with form.

I have the same issue, i can pull 200 pounds more from above the knees than from the floor, but the same from below the knees as from the floor. By staring below the knees it put the low back in a very stressed position to start with. I believe it is not necessarily a strength issue, but a NS (golgi and spindle) protective issue not allowing the body maximum startng strength in that postion.

well i just saw a vid on youtube where matt kroczaleski talks about how working out a lot more on his upper back strength helped his lockout. it’s a good vid to watch anyway.

talks about it at like 1:30

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

My sticking points are generally early on though. I kinda wish I had your problem, b/c it’s easier to fix.

[/quote]

I don’t know about it being easier, and having lockout as your weak point definitely screws you in equipped lifting.

I prefer doing reverse band work to rack pulls though.

I noticed a similar problem this week and was going to start a thread when I saw this one.

Up until now, i haven’t really done any rack work. All my pullng has been conventional, sumo, and SG from the floor. I thought my weak point was the floor, because on any attempt, if it left the ground I quickly reached lockout.

But then I found this was not true.

Last week I started doing rack work. I started from mid thigh, and was able to do more than my full ROM max, and was able to do sets of 3-5 reps.

But then this week, I went to below knee height, and found it very difficult, even with a weight that was only 70-80% of my 1rm.

So im guessing that this is either a really awkward position, or a weak point for a lot of people. I noticed a lot of extra stress on the low back when starting from below the knee.

Also, I was thinking about a normal full ROM deadlift. The majority of the force is produced at the floor, and by the time the bar passes the knees its moving at a decent speed.

So if you are going to train from below the knee, should you focus more on rate of force development or max force?

[quote]dankid wrote:
I noticed a similar problem this week and was going to start a thread when I saw this one.

Up until now, i haven’t really done any rack work. All my pullng has been conventional, sumo, and SG from the floor. I thought my weak point was the floor, because on any attempt, if it left the ground I quickly reached lockout.

But then I found this was not true.

Last week I started doing rack work. I started from mid thigh, and was able to do more than my full ROM max, and was able to do sets of 3-5 reps.

But then this week, I went to below knee height, and found it very difficult, even with a weight that was only 70-80% of my 1rm.

So im guessing that this is either a really awkward position, or a weak point for a lot of people. I noticed a lot of extra stress on the low back when starting from below the knee.

Also, I was thinking about a normal full ROM deadlift. The majority of the force is produced at the floor, and by the time the bar passes the knees its moving at a decent speed.

So if you are going to train from below the knee, should you focus more on rate of force development or max force?[/quote]

hmm how about train both, ala westside, ME and DE days.